Spooky Projects – Introduction to Microcontrollers with Arduino

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Spooky Projects is a set of four 3-hour classes in October 2006 hosted by Machine Project and taught by Tod E. Kurt. It is an introduction to microcontroller programming and interfacing with the real world using the Arduino physical computing platform.

In the class, participants are shown and experiment with the Arduino’s capabilities and learn the basics of common microcontroller interfacing, such as: digital output to control lights and LEDs, digital input to read switches and buttons, analog output to control motor position or LED brightness, and analog input to read sensor inputs. From these tools all sorts of interesting projects can be created. In the class, a few simple project sketches are covered using the provided parts kit, under the theme of spooky animatronics for Halloween.

The class assumes no previous electronics knowledge, though it does assume a little programming knowledge. No soldering is needed during the class, as all circuits are built with solderless breadboards.

At the end of the class, Mark Allen of Machine Project bestowed upon each of the students an awesome programming merit badge. Take other Machine Project classes to get other great geeky badges!
arduino class merit badge

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Class Notes

Arduino Sketches Used in Class

Processing Sketches Used In Class

  • http_rgb_led — fetch a web page, parse it, send RGB color value to Arduino. Used with Arduino sketch ‘serial_rgb_led_too’ above.
  • arduino_ball — Arduino with piezo sends a number, Processing parses it and draws a ball the size of the number.
  • arduino_spookysounds — When piezo on Arduino is whacked, Processing draws scary eyes and plays a spooky sound.
  • spook-processing-sketches.zip — all the processing sketches zipped up

Class Kit Parts

Arduino & Other Microcontroller Resources

Parts Suppliers

  • SparkFun — Arudino board and shield, and many other neat gizmos.
  • Jameco — General electronic parts, easy-to-use, also has computer parts.
  • Digikey — Exhaustive parts supplier. Cheaper than Jameco usually, has more variation, more hard-to-find parts.

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